New Delhi, Dec 12: A day after they shared dais during anti-corruption protest, Anna Hazare and Opposition parties today came under attack from UPA along with the RJD, which suggested that an attempt was made to bypass Parliament on the issue of Lokpal.
BJP, however, hit back, saying they did not need to take advice from Congress with regard to the dignity of Parliament. Union Minister and senior Congress leader Ambika Sonia took on BJP and other Opposition parties for articulating their views on Lokpal while sharing dais with Hazare at Jantar Mantar venue of protest.
“In democracy there is a platform for discussion on every issue. Parliament is the best forum for discussion,” she told reporters outside Parliament House here.
“Raising issues outside Parliament shows opposition's double standards. This is not acceptable,” she said adding “when we speak outside Parliament they say it is against Parliamentary tradition.”
Soni said, “we also want strong Lokpal but it should be discussed in Parliament.”
Law Minister Salman Khurshid said, “Parliamentary democracy is based on discussion and there should be discussion on every issue.”
Asked whether opposition did the right thing in discussing Lokpal issue outside Parliament, Khurshid said “this should also be discussed in Parliament.”
Union Minister and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said, “Parliament is supreme. So, they (Opposition) should put forth their views in Parliament which is the right forum”.
Steel Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma said, “the opposition is scared of Rahul Gandhi and Anna has become their spokesperson especially that of the RSS. Is he a laat sahab (is he some big man)? Let him come to UP (elections), we will see him there.”
Contending that Hazare “is trying to scare Congress”, he said “we are not afraid of him. If he is 75, then Congress is 125 years old.”
Another Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, “His (Anna's) word is not the one of Lord Brahma. Is he Satyawadi Harishchandra, I do not agree with this.” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said Hazare was “doing politics (on Lokpal issue).”
His party colleague Digvijay Singh reiterated that Team Anna's movement is backed by political considerations.
The sharpest attack came from RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who said the language used by Hazare to target MPs could lead the nation towards anarchy.
“Anna Hazare's statement that 180 MPs are ‘goondas' is highly objectionable. It is an insult to Parliament. He (Anna Hazare) should take back his words,” Prasad told reporters. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, however, saw nothing wrong with politicians sharing the dais with Hazare and discussing the Lokpal issue and said it is “good” that all parties emphasised the supremacy of Parliament which cannot be overlooked.
“A debate can take place at any place. It could be done at a seminar or in an open ground. It is good that all political parties at Jantar Mantar emphasised the importance of Parliament. We cannot overlook Parliament,” Pawar said.
Countering the attack, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Anna Hazare movement has changed the nation's thinking and has also raised people's voice... We all know that the law will pass only in Parliament but if government tries to escape on making a strong Lokpal bill, then we won't leave them.”